Do you also love pastries?
Sometimes it feels like chocolate cake calls to me through the display case – but is that even a pastry? I digress, because what is really special is learning how to make a famed pastry, like the Ispahan from Ladurée!! Which, in case you couldn’t tell from the creation I produced in the photo below, is a bonafide version of a traditional macaron sandwich…. with fresh raspberries, rose buttercream, and to mix things up, lychee!
There may be nothing more beautifully indulgent than witnessing the folding of the almond-sugar powder mixture with the meringue. Seductive – really! But what I often forget when cooking, and baking specifically, is how much fun it is. It helped that I brought my best friend along for the experience AND the head pastry chef Jimmy was there to guide us, but it’s something to remember when your eye strays to that boxed mix on the shelf at the grocery store – DON’T DO IT. Just do it the old fashioned way … with a list of ingredients that may or may not become what you were actually trying to make…
Here’s the recipe and instructions. Bonne chance!
Ladurée Ispahan Recipe
Makes about 8
2 cups whole almonds blanched
2 cups confectioners sugar
½ cup of egg white
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup of water
¾ cup egg white
½ tablespoon red food coloring
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, grind the almonds with the confectionary sugar until very finely ground.
3. Beat the 1/2 cup of egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed, then increase speed to high and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks.
4. Meanwhile cook the sugar and water in a small saucepan until it reaches 250°F.
5. Very slowly pour the hot sugar water into the whipped meringue, running it down the side of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute.
6. Mix the 3/4 cup of egg whites with the food coloring and mix it with the almond-sugar mixture.
7. Quickly and carefully fold the almond-sugar powder mixture with the meringue.
8. Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a ¼-inch round tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a plastic freezer bag, pressing out excess air. Snip one corner to create a ¼-inch opening.
9. Pipe the macarons into 3-inch discs onto the baking trays: Starting at the center of the circle, guide the bag in concentric circles, keeping the tip hovered an inch above the tray. This will ensure that the batter that comes out of the tip is a perfect cylinder.
8. Bake for 15 minutes.
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 cup egg yolk
1 cup butter, at room temperature, whipped to a mayonnaise texture
¼ teaspoon rose extract
2 teaspoons rose syrup
1. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar and water in a small saucepan until it reaches 250°F
2. Beat the yolks in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, and then slowly add the hot sugar to the yolks, running it down the side of the mixing bowl, and increase the speed to high until the mixture becomes totally cold.
3. Mix in the butter and then the rose water together the butter and the first mix, and then add the rose extract and syrup.
1 pint Raspberries
4 lychees, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
Rose petal, optional
1. Using a piping bag or ziplock bag, pipe some buttercream in the middle of a cookie. Line up fresh raspberries around the edge, and add one in the middle.
2. Add a couple pieces of lychee in the space bewteen the middle raspberry and outter raspberry ring
3. Pipe a thin layer of buttercream onto the berries and top with another macaron cookie.
4. For the garnish, use the buttercream to anchor a raspberry and rose petal onto the top.